Taylor Barnard from Great Britain wins both races on Sunday. Young German rookie Valentin Kluss on the podium for the first time. Spectacular 15th race of the season goes down to the wire.
Excitement right down to the finish: Taylor Barnard (18/GBR/PHM Racing) came through an exciting race in ADAC Formula 4 to take a narrow victory over team-mate Nikita Bedrin (ITA) on Sunday. Behind them, Valentin Kluss (15/Bad Mergentheim/PHM Racing) snatched third place and his first podium in the final metres at the DEKRA Lausitzring. “It is unbelievable that I managed to win from eighth on the grid. I saw in my rear mirror that the lead over Nikita was coming down all the time. The final laps were definitely not for the faint-hearted, but I managed to hold on to first place,” said the double winner from the fifth weekend of the season. Berlin-based team PHM Racing claimed a sensational one-two-three at its home event in Lower Lusatia. Barnard also triumphed in the morning’s race, with Kacper Sztuka (16/POL/US Racing) taking second place ahead of 16-year-old Bedrin.
Visitors to the Family & Friends Festival, at which the ADAC GT Masters was the headline series, saw Barnard take advantage of his pole position in race 14 of the season on Sunday morning. The Brit wasted little time in establishing a lead in the opening laps of the 3.478-kilometre circuit. However, under an overcast sky and with temperatures around 19 degrees Celsius, the pole-sitter was stopped in his tracks by a safety car phase which neutralised the field. When the racing resumed on lap nine, Barnard was not caught out and went on to take victory. Sztuka and Bedrin battled it out for second place throughout the entire 30-minute race. Sztuka passed Bedrin on the final lap to finish runner-up ahead of Saturday’s winner. Kluss came home fourth to pick up the trophy for the best-placed rookie. Another German, Jonas Ried (17/PHM Racing), completed the top five.
The reverse grid rule saw Zachary David (US Racing) start the 15th race of the season on pole. The 15-year-old became the first Philippine driver to start in the ADAC’s talent factory. However, Finland’s Rasmus Joutsimies (19/Jenzer Motorsport) took the lead at the end of the opening lap in sunshine and 23 degrees Celsius. The flying Barnard crowned his fightback with the decisive manoeuvre on lap eight. The four-time race winner first opened a lead at the front of the field, but then had to hold on against second-placed Bedrin as the race drew to a thrilling conclusion. “I gave it everything and tried to overtake Taylor. I didn’t quite manage in the end, but I am happy with this result,” said Bedrin.
Drama was unfolding behind the PHM duo: Joutsimies came under pressure from Kluss in the closing stages, with the destination of third place only decided on the finish straight. ADAC Stiftung Sport driver Kluss eventually crossed the finish line just 0.03 seconds ahead of Joutsimies. As well as a spot on the podium, he was also able to celebrate first place in the Rookie competition. “This is a dream come true for me, as I am on the podium in ADAC Formula 4. After my rather difficult start, I no longer thought that would be possible, but I never gave up. This is a big success for me,” said Kluss. Joutsimies was fourth, while David came home fifth to claim the best result of his debut weekend in the ADAC’s high-speed school. Ried, from Ehingen in Baden-Württemberg, was seventh behind Thailand’s Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi (16/THA/Jenzer Motorsport). Sztuka, Michael Sauter (17/SUI/Sauter Engineering + Design) and Ruiqi Liu (16/CHN/US Racing) also finished in the top ten.
The final round of this season’s ADAC Formula 4 takes place at the Nürburgring. The stars of tomorrow will battle it out for the last victories of the season from 14th to 16th October as part of the ADAC Racing Weekend. Andrea Kimi Antonelli (15/ITA/Prema Racing) leads the championship ahead of what promises to be a big showdown with second-placed Barnard in the Eifel Mountains.